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The term "world heritagerefers to sites, groups of buildings, monuments and natural environments of outstanding universal value inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fundamental concept of the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention)", which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1972, is to inscribe world heritage properties on the World Heritage List, protect natural and cultural heritage properties of outstanding universal value from damage, call upon countries around the world, and drive international collaboration in protecting world heritage.

The preservation of World Heritage sites exemplifies many forward-looking concepts. In order to keep our fellow countrymen abreast of preservation work in other nations, in early 2002, Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture (Original: Council of Cultural Affairs) began asking domestic experts, country and city governments, as well as local literati and historians, to recommend a list of sites in Taiwan suitable for World Heritage listing. A meeting for evaluation and selection sites was held, and 11 potential World Heritage sites were chosenTaroko National Park, Cilan Mountain Cypress Forest, Beinan Site and Mt. Dulan, Alishan Forest Railway, Kinmen Battlefield Culture, Datun Volcano Group, Orchid Island and The Tao, Fort San Domingo and Surrounding Historical Buildings, Danshuei, Jinguashih Settlement, Penghu Columnar Basalt Nature Reserve, Old Mountain Line Railway. In the end of 2002, Yukio Nishimura, Vice Chairman of ICOMOS, Shinto Sugio , Vice Chairman of Japan ICOMOS, and Bruce R. Pettman, and Australian architect, were invited to Taiwan to inspect these recommended sites and decided to increase one site, Yushan National Park. In 2003, the meeting was held, and 12 potential world heritage sites were selected.

On February 18, 2009, the meeting of World Heritage Committee, which is formed by relevant organizations and experts, was held by CCA for the first time. Kinmen, Lieyu and Matsu are combined as the battlefield culture of Kinmen and Matsu. Five sitesLo-Sheng Sanatorium, Taoyuan Tableland and Ponds, Wushantou Reservoir and Juanan Irrigation waterways, Paiwan Settlements of Slate Constructions, and Penghu Stone Fish Weirswere recommended to be added in the list of the potential world heritage sites in the meeting. On August 8, after inspecting these recommended sites, the participant has chosen 5 potential World Heritage sites in the World Heritage Committee at the same year. Therefore, there are 17 potential world heritage sites18 places.

In 2010, the meeting of World Heritage Committee was held. In order to demonstrate the different cultural characteristics of Kinmen and Matsu, and show more local features and master the universal value of the world heritage, the battlefield culture of Kinmen and Matsu are divided into two sites. They are called Kinmen Battlefield Culture and Matsu Battlefield Culture. Hence, there are 18 potential world heritage sites in Taiwan. 

(Source: twh.boch.gov.tw)


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